Join Vlamis at Oracle OpenWorld!

Oracle OpenWorld is quickly approaching and we’re making our arrangements to attend! This year we will be involved in 6 presentations! Check out the schedule builder for more information and to add our sessions to your calendar. This year our presentations include:

Let us know if you’re planning to attend Oracle OpenWorld this year. We would love to make arrangements to meet with you!

Outliers, Self-Importance, and Shared Understanding

I recently attended another overview of machine learning and analytics, but this time it was at my business school’s reunion and delivered by one of the most prominent thought leaders in the world of analytics. Nothing he said was wrong and I agreed with much of the sage advice he had to offer. Also, there is only so much that can be communicated in a 45 minutes session, but I was somewhat disappointed. This session was designed for executive level business leaders not working directly in the field of analytics. Here were the two big pieces of advice:  

  • Don’t lose the outliers and engage in too much aggregation. That’s where all the good stuff is (with the outliers). 

  • Place analytics within the heart of the business of the organization. It’s the most important thing. 

Fine and good. It’d be hard for me to argue against the potential usefulness of true outliers. However, I do think that the usefulness of outliers is highly dependent on the situation. It’s midway down my “most important” list. You might say it’s a bit of an outlier when too much aggregation rubs out the most meaningful insights.  

I also agree with placing analytics at the center of the business. However, I freely recognize that this is what every functional business discipline advises; finance professors recommend that financial analysis be placed at the center of all business decisions and practices, human resource professors advise that there is nothing more important than world-class personnel practices, business operations professors argue that more money flows through operations than any other part of the business and that operational effectiveness largely determines the strength and future of the corporation, etc. It’s not wrong to advise that analytics be placed at the center of everything, it’s just a teeny bit myopic.  

Here’s a seldom heard perspective I’d love to hear from an analytics thought leader addressing executives. In fact, I’d likely put this at the top of my personal “most important” list.  

The hardest work of analytics is fostering a shared understanding of organizational position, performance, and priorities.  

It’s a group thing, not an individual thing. Designing analytic dashboards is more like putting together a great restaurant with a brilliant kitchen combined with a strong staff and fantastic atmosphere than it is like writing a novel or painting a picture. Restaurants need a team of people working together and are enjoyed most always by people dining in groups, not alone. Great restaurants are about shared experiences, not solitary impressions. When executives share an understanding of evidence, coherent decision making can take place. At that point, the analytics system is supporting the organization, not driving differences in perspective. But great dashboards don’t happen by accident and they don’t arise naturally from a single great artist working alone. It’s a shared thing, not an individual thing.  

Getting Started with Oracle Analytics

A recent interviewee (yup, we’re hiring!) recently recently asked me how to get started with Oracle Analytics. Rather than just answering that person, I thought I would turn this into a blog article for everybody.

There are many resources out there to help you get started with Oracle Analytics, but you kind of need to know where to look. So let me share with you some of the free resources that are out there. This is being written in July 2019, so some of this may change in the future, but here’s some of what is available, at least for now:

  1. Udemy - Oracle recently added some free Udemy courses. Set up an account for free and get access to free material to get started.

  2. OAC Sandbox - This link will allow you to run real OAC demonstrations without having to sign up for a trial Oracle cloud account. You cannot create your own visualizations, but you can experiment with the visualizations that Oracle has created.

  3. Download DVD - Want to run Oracle Analytics on your own PC? Simply download Data Visualization Desktop. The software is free (for non-production use; read the license agreement on Oracle’s web site). This is the same software Oracle sells, but configured to run standalone on a desktop computer.

  4. OAC trial - See that button in the corner “Try for free”? That gives you 30 days to run full Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) for free. You won’t come close to burning through the $300 in the first 30 days, so go for it. Yes, some Oracle salesperson will call you - just tell them you’re learning it. Just kill the account before your 30 days is up or create a new account with a new email address, but you’ll need to export out your work to take it to a new environment via a “snapshot”.

  5. Synopsis - Oracle Analytics runs on your phone! Think of this as an Excel spreadsheet viewer on your phone that gives you insights about the data in a spreadsheet, Simply open spreadsheet files using Synopsis from your email program. Spreadsheets must be formatted with the first row containing the name of each field/column.

  6. Oracle Analytics Library - Oracle has created a library of extensions and demos that they freely give away. There are lots of first-class demonstrations out there and many plugins that you can download to your DVD instance or to your OAC instances.

  7. Webcasts on OAC Features - I have recorded a new webinar with just about every significant release of Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) or Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) since 2011. Want to know when a feature was introduced? Check out the webinar series. Slides are shared and you can watch the videos.

  8. Oracle Analytics Web Page - No list would be complete without listing Oracle’s Analytics Sales page. Yup, it’s a bit salesy, but it has good information about the Oracle Analytics offering. It also links to a recently-updated “Statement of Direction” and the recently-recorded Oracle Analytics Summit Live recording that will give you a glimpse of where Oracle is heading.

OK, that wraps up my starter set of links for getting started. There are of course, lots more resources that you can find by googling various terms, and tons of resources you can get from Oracle Education, but those will cost some bucks, or via the Oracle Partner Program (email me at dvlamis at vlamis dot com for information),

If you have a favorite resource, leave it in the comments and I’ll look at adding it as a resource. Happy learning!

Vlamis Cloud Analytics Bundle

If you are looking to get started with The Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse and Oracle Analytics Cloud, we have a new offering called the Vlamis Cloud Analytics Bundle that may be a perfect fit for you. The “Vlamis CAB” contains everything you would need to get up and running in the Oracle Cloud and well on your way to an implementation of OAC running against your data in an ADW.

The Vlamis CAB includes:
• Set up OAC
• Set up ADW
• Upload up to 5 data sources/tables
• Joins and modeling
• Up to 5 canvases/projects/20 visualizations
• Presentation
• Knowledge transfer
• Documentation & resources
• Mentoring
• 1/2 day training (mentoring)
• If Possible:
• Live connections
• Additional user set up
• Security integration

There are many additional options and add-ons to further customize your system. If you are interested in learning more about this bundle email and we will be happy to set up a time to talk!

New Features in OAC 105.3.0

The latest version of Oracle Analytics has been released and we will be hosting a webinar to cover the newest features included. Join us on July 10th at 12:00pm Central for a webinar including a live demo. During this presentation we will cover as many new features as time allows for. Please share this registration information with others on your team or anyone you know who may be interested in the newest features in OAC. Registration is now open! We will be repeating this content as part of the new Analytics and Data TechCast series, hosted by the BIWA User Community at 11am Central time on July 11.

Oracle Analytics Cloud version 105.3.0 has several new features of special interest to the OAC community. A few of the major themes for this release include: a) administration of OAC instances including start/stop, b) data access including RDC improvements, c) data visualization improvements including natural language narrative, and d) BI Publisher improvements.

Join Dan Vlamis, Oracle ACE Director, and President of Vlamis Software Solutions, as he walks through the new features. Just like our previous presentations (see for a list), this webinar will include a fast-paced presentation with a live demo of OAC including as many of the new features as time allows.

Click here to see a list of features in the latest release.